Dealership SEO Secret: Google Cares About Your Feelings

SEO campaigns have traditionally combined a few key factors:

  • Understanding your target audience’s needs, expectations, and search intents
  • Focusing on link building
  • Supporting your SEO with the relevant, quality content that meets those expectations and keeps consumers coming back

Marketers have perfected this formula over a decade-plus of hands-on experience and research, and the results consistently show that. But, as with any area of your marketing efforts, there’s always room for improvement.

Thanks to digital technology’s constant acceleration and always-increasing sophistication, you can now weave a new facet of user search intent into your SEO: sentiment analysis.

Understanding not only the basic intent behind an internet search but also the individual context in terms of positive or negative sentiment is a critical development in refining SEO efficiency.

The context of sentiment isn’t just intelligence – it’s emotional intelligence to drive your analysis of potential customers, and it’s past time for dealers to get on board.

Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment analysis analyzes the positive and negative emotions associated with a particular series of words. Let’s consider an example of how it works, and why it goes beyond simple search intent analysis.

Two users enter the following queries in their search engine of choice: “Are Chevy Silverados good trucks” and “are Chevy Silverados bad trucks.”

Logically, we know these two searches ought to return the same findings, because the intent behind them was the same: to get an idea of how Chevy Silverados rate compared to the competition.

In reality, something very different happens when you search those exact phrases (you can test it now if you like). The former search, because of the wording, presents findings with a markedly positive slant. The latter does just the opposite, presenting results with overwhelmingly negative connotations.

You can see how this might adversely affect your SEO. Understanding and preparing for user search intent alone will not account for the ambiguity of subjective terms like “good” and “bad.” Sentiment analysis, on the other hand, is designed for exactly that.

How does sentiment analysis help refine the efficiency of your SEO? Understanding how negative sentiment, intended or not, can misdirect your potential customers is the first step to developing a counter-strategy that proactively leverages positive sentiment to boost your brand.

Here are just a few ways you can achieve this goal:

  • Go beyond link building and cultivate influencers who will help spread positive perceptions of your brand.
  • Respond to negative feedback quickly and positively, since customer reviews factor heavily into the sentiment returned by online searches.
  • Develop a proactive content strategy to generate positive sentiment, as opposed to a purely reactive PR strategy that deals with negative press as it arises.

Each of these steps has a direct and positive impact on your brand’s online presence and the sentiment surrounding it and, by extension, your SEO.

Conclusion

Whether you’re going beyond link building by cultivating positive influencers on behalf of your brand or implementing proactive reputation management policies to counteract negative reviews, leveraging the emotional insight of sentiment analysis will help you refine your approach and ward off the loss of potential customers.